SUMMER SCHOOL | European Policy Communications in the Digital Era 2020

Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Registrations are open for the third edition of our advanced training program in policy communications! 

With speakers from: The Economist Intelligence Unit, Transport & Environment, Cambridge University, Better Europe Public Affairs, Hertie School of Governance, Press Club Brussels Europe, Red Thread EU, Impact Assessment Institute, IE School of Global and Public Affairs, CEU Centre for European Union Research, CEPOW Centre for Policy Writing, and more.

Date and location: June 23-26 2020 in Valencia, Spain (Eurostars Rey don Jaime)

Who should register? Policy makers, advisors, analysts, advocates, and communicators.

Registration fee: EUR 500 per Module or EUR 1800 for four Modules. 

Registration deadline: April 30, 2020

Places are limited and will be on a first come, first serve basis. 

What is included: Lectures and interactive workshops in policy communications; Certificate of completion; Food and drinks in the breaks; Networking and a rich social program in Valencia.

Due to the rapid evolution of the COVID-19 situation and in compliance with measures undertaken by the authorities, CEPOW has decided to postpone the Summer School “European Policy Communications in the Digital Era 2020”. The new dates for our Summer School program will be announced in due course.

About the Summer School

To succeed, your policy communication strategy needs to be well-timed, clear, factual, diverse and targeted; it needs to tell a story and be original. The digital era has brought new possibilities and challenges to the world of policy communications with tools such as social media or video gaining prominence. Moreover, in today’s world, striking the right balance between evidence-based and emotion-based policy communication is crucial. Achieving such a communication strategy, while remaining true to your policy message, is not an easy feat. This Summer School will teach you how to get there by effectively using a variety of communication tools for policy impact in the 21st century.

This event will bring together leading European experts in policy communication to work with participants in a highly interactive setting through practical workshops and lectures. Participants can choose between Modules in EU stakeholder analysis, advanced policy brief and op-ed writing, speechwriting, policy evaluation writing, video and media, data visualization, grassroots lobbying, and digital advocacy. Participants may sign up for individual Modules or the full program. The full, four-day program will equip participants with the skills needed to achieve excellence in all aspects of policy communications, from traditional to digital.

Aims and Outcomes

The participants of the summer school will:

  • Obtain the skills for effective and impactful policy communications.
  • Learn by doing – through interactive lectures and workshops.
  • Get an advanced understanding of the dynamics of the European policy process.
  • Learn how to be heard in Brussels – wherever you are based.
  • Learn and exchange best (and worst) practices in policy communications.
  • Have an opportunity for networking with EU-level decision-makers and experts.
  • Receive an advanced certificate in policy communications.

Workshops and Speakers | FULL PROGRAM

Day 1 ∣ June 23 ∣ Whole day training and social program

Module A: Don’t Miss the Boat! Timing of Policy Communications in EU Advocacy ∣ Joost Mulder, Better Europe

Joost Mulder runs Better Europe; he is an independent Public Affairs expert with a strong network in the “Brussels bubble” and in civil society, with a broad knowledge of EU financial services legislation. With 15 years’ experience in Brussels including as a political assistant to an MEP, a lobby consultant, and head of advocacy at the NGO Finance Watch, Joost is able to build unexpected alliances between different stakeholders. His current clients include NGOs defending environmental, human rights and shareholder interests, as well as real economy business.

Module B: Getting Grassroots Right: Digital Advocacy and Grassroots Campaigning ∣ Luca Bonaccorsi, Transport & Environment

Luca Bonaccorsi is an economist, a journalist and an environmental campaigner with a track record of successful lobbying in Brussels, London, and Rome. He is specialized in strategic ‘digital grassroots’ lobbying. In 2015-16 he has successfully led for BirdLife International the record-breaking ‘Nature Alert’ campaign that stopped the EU Commission’ from lowering environmental standards in Europe. In 2017, in partnership with Sky OceanRescue, he has led the campaign against single-use plastic in the UK on behalf of the Marine Conservation Society. For Transport & Environment, he has recently (Spring 2019) led the campaign that obtained a ban on palm oil in biofuels, the largest driver of palm oil imports to Europe.

Day 2 ∣ June 24 ∣ Whole day training and social program

Module A: Writing Effective Policy Briefs ∣ Bernhard Knoll-Tudor, Hertie School of Governance

Bernhard Knoll-Tudor is the Director of Executive Education at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. Prior to his appointment at the school, he served as director of the Global Policy Academy at Central European University, Budapest. He worked for ten years for the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE), an international organization devoted to “hard” security as well as to human rights diplomacy where he was involved in policy design and public relations.

Module B: From Evidence to Policy: Impact Assessments Boot Camp ∣ Erik Akse, Impact Assessment Institute

Erik Akse is an expert in EU decision-making and policy development. Since 2002, he implements Better Regulation policies such as ex-ante Impact Assessment, ex-post Evaluation, Stakeholder Consultation, Administrative Burden Reduction, and Legislative Simplification. He worked, among others, at the Dutch administration, the European Commission and the Western Balkans. He is co-founder and non-executive Director of Training at the Impact Assessment Institute. He published several books and articles on EU decision-making, the EU policy cycle, and EU Impact Assessment.

Day 3 ∣ June 25 ∣ Whole day training and social program

Module A: Op-Ed Writing for Policy Advocacy ∣ Dominique Ostyn, Press Club Brussels Europe

Dominique Ostyn has nearly two decades of experience in European media relations, policy communication and strategy. Dominique is the director of communication of the Press Club Brussels Europe, gives trainings and workshops on media relations and digital policy communications. Most recently, Dominique is also the co-founder of, a new media start-up that aims to counter false narratives and propaganda that are eroding trust in politics and the media. Dominique was the opinion editor and director of communication of EURACTIV for 8 years. Dominique helped establish and grow the think tank Friends of Europe and related policy journal Europe’s World for almost a decade before that.

Module B: Data Visualization Tools and Techniques for Policy Communication ∣ Conor Griffin, The Economist Intelligence Unit

Conor Griffin leads The EIU’s Public Policy and Economics consulting practice in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. In this role, he is responsible for managing the team that designs and delivers bespoke research studies that drive real impact. His areas of specialization include social policy, education policy, trade policy and technology policy. His regional expertise includes the EU, China, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). He regularly delivers in-person presentations at conferences and client events and has also contributed insights to several media outlets, including the Financial Times.

Day 4 ∣ June 26 ∣ Whole day training and social program

Module A: Speechwriting for Impact: How to Turn Complex Policy into Compelling Rhetoric ∣ Melanie Dunn, Cambridge University

Melanie has been writing speeches for almost ten years and considers it an immense privilege. She spent almost three years as Chief Speechwriter to the former President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.  She worked on his high-profile State of the European Union speeches, as well as on speeches covering a wide variety of topics, from environmental to industrial policy. She has also worked for UNESCO Special Envoy and former first lady of Qatar, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, crafting her speeches for the UN General Assembly and World Education Forum. Melanie is now based in Cambridge and writes for the Chief Executives of Cambridge Assessment – a branch of Cambridge University.

Module B: How to Influence Policy Through the Media ∣ Laura Shields, Red Thread EU

Laura Shields is the founder and Managing Director of Red Thread, a Brussels-based communications agency specialising in media, presentation and message training. A former journalist who graduated from Cambridge University in 2000, Laura started her career at CNN and CNBC in London, specialising in European business news and US politics. She moved to the BBC in 2004 where she initially worked as the Economics and Business Analyst and then as a producer for Radio 4’s World at One and PM programmes. Laura now works as a communications trainer and panel moderator in Brussels. Her clients include European Commissioners and senior managers, EU and US Ambassadors, European government ministers, MEPs, Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies, trade associations, NGOs, thinktanks, scientists and philanthropic organisations.

Summer School Venue

Hotel Eurostars Rey don Jaime 
This upscale hotel in a modern tower is a 15-minute walk from the City of Arts and Sciences, a 10-minute walk from the Prince Felipe Science Museum and 2.6 km from Valencia Cathedral. Valencia’s seafront and the closest beach are 3.6 km away. The local bus 19 stops at the corner of Eurostars Rey Don Jaime and connects with the city centre and the beach. Given its location, this hotel will provide a great starting point for the rich social program we have planned for the CEPOW Summer School participants.

Previous Editions

This is the third edition of our Summer School “European Policy Communications in the Digital Era”. The previous two Summer Schools were held in Madrid (2018) and Lisbon (2019). Participants in CEPOW Summer Schools have come from a diverse range of organizations. Check out our client list here to get an idea.

Start Date - End Date

Jun 23, 2020 - Jun 26, 2020

Event Location

Valencia, Spain


€500 – €1800

Share This